Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bell finds back of the net twice in two goal win

  • One is better than none. That is the approach the Kelowna Rockets will take as they leave Vancouver Island after a weekend split against the Victoria Royals. After losing 3-1 Friday night, the Rockets rallied back for a 5-3 win Saturday night on the strength of two Myles Bell goals. Now with 37 wins on the season, the team can enjoy a portion of their schedule where 11 of their next 14 games are on home ice. Assistant Coach Dan Lambert was pleased with Saturday's win and the fact the teams horrendous road schedule has come to an end. “To come out with a record that we have (15-3-0-0) over that stretch is pretty impressive. I am proud of these young men”. 
  • A terrible start for the Rockets Saturday night. They surrendered the opening goal less than two minutes into the game and you had to wonder if it was going to be a long night for the visitors. But like any good team, they fought back and tied the game on Bell’s 26th goal of the season and then took the lead for good when Bell found the back of the net again three minutes later to give the Rockets a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission. 
  • The prettiest goal of the game came off the stick of Rourke Chartier. Winning a foot race to a loose puck just inside the Royals blue line, Chartier roofed a shot high over the glove of Victoria goaltender Patrik Polivka giving the visitors a 4-1 lead. Is the goal worthy of  WHL Plays of the Week perhaps? It was Chartier’s 13th goal of the season and capped off a great weekend by the second year player who brings is work boots every time he steps on the ice. “When he plays like that, there are not too many better 200 foot players in this league”, Assistant Coach Dan Lambert added on the post game show.  
  • Marek Tvrdon found the back of the net for the first time as a member of the Rockets. The 20 year-old skated inside the Royals zone on right wing, niftily holding onto the puck before cutting to the middle and firing a wrist shot past Coleman Vollrath to make the score 5-3. Tvrdon had several chances to score in the game and finds himself in good shooting areas. One grade ‘A’ scoring chance in the second period saw him miss the net. I couldn’t believe he sent the puck wide, and by the look on his face, neither could he. “I thought Tvrdon should have probably had four or five goals. He was on the receiving end of a few two-on-ones and even a three-on-one but finally got one that iced the game for us”, assistant coach Dan Lambert commented. If his first two games are any indication he is going to score his fair share of goals. If you have in the neighbourhood of five chances to score per game, you are bound to bury a few of them. 
  • Not like Jordon Cooke had a bad game Friday night, but he wasn’t at his usual best. A night later, you could clearly tell Cooke was dialed in. Cooke out preformed both Polivka and Vollrath who came in a relief appearance. The win was the Rockets 22nd on the road, which is one more road win than the team had all of last season.      
  • In case you have had your head in the sand, the Rockets just completed a portion of their schedule playing 16 of their last 18 games on the road.  A schedule that would have buried a middle of the pack team, leaving them like road kill at the side of the highway for the scavengers to feast on, the Rockets managed to win 15 of those 18 games.  Those three losses came within the last 11 days when signs of fatigue were undoubtedly setting in. 
  • These were two physical games where big hits were common place. The Rockets gave as good as they got. Ryan Olsen flattening Royals forward Jack Palmer. Rourke Chartier and Tyson Baillie also got lite up by big hits on the weekend. These two teams don’t like one another resulting in three fighting majors in the two games.         
  • The Royals are not a good team. They are a great team that has to be considered a contender for the league title. They have speed, size and can score. They also defend well. If you think two points will come easy against them in the final two months of the season you are dead wrong. They are built for a long playoff run. The only concern I see is possibly the number of shots they give up on a nightly basis.
  • One area the Royals have changed dramatically over the last year is their discipline. Often wanting to bully the opposition, teams would pull away by making them pay with a power play goal. Under head coach Dave Lowry, the Royals play a much smarter game.  

1 comment:

jaz301 said...

After only 2 home games since Dec 10th its going to be nice to have a stretch of home games. Its a good thing the rockets have a great team or their record would look a lot different over that last stretch.

With the season over half way now many were wondering if rockets can get to 60 wins. In order to do that rockets would need to win 23 of their final 27 games. Possible? Yes. Likely? I don't know. Rockets would have to win 5 games (+3 more) for every loss.